Patti Drew: Tell Him
From Tell Him (Capitol, 1967)
From I’ve Been Here All the Time (Capitol, 1969)
Hundreds And Thousands Of Guys
From Wild Is Love (Capitol, 1970)
All songs also available on Working On a Groovy Thing.
Ok, time to take a break from Gur-eulogies. I could have sworn I had posted about Patti Drew at some point but it was really in passing. Drew’s not exactly obscure but I wouldn’t go as far to call her a household name either. One of the many hopefuls to emerge out of the Midwest (in her case, Illinois) in the 1960s, Drew’s first outing, as part of the group, Drew-Vels, yielded what is arguably Drew’s best-known hit: “Tell Him,” a beautiful little doo-wop-tinted ballad. I’m not 100% clear if Drew’s solo debut, Tell Him includes the Drew-Vels version or a new recording of the song but either way, that same album also yielded my favorite Drew song, “Stop and Listen” which I last wrote about in my 2008 year end review (shouts out to Chairman Mao for putting me on that tune).
I first became familiar with Drew years ago from her third album, I’ve Been Here All the Time; if you’re looking for uptempo, funky soul, this LP is a no-brainer. It not only has this killer version of “Fever” (one of the best, and that’s saying a lot), but she also covers Otis Redding’s classic “Hard to Handle.”
Wild Is Love was a more recent discovery; it’s best known for the smoky “Beggar for the Blues” but “Hundreds and Thousands of Guys” is a fun, blues-edged ditty as well. The whole album has Drew doing a little monologuing before the rhythm section kicks in and the way she shouts, “guys! guys! guys!” got a laugh out of me.
Capitol hasn’t reissued the albums individual but the Working On a Groovy Thing anthology is decently comprehensive.